New consumers may want to try low potency products
Many new customers may be interested in dabbling and trying out marijuana rather than getting high as they would from more potent types of marijuana. They may want marijuana that contains less psychoactive ingredients but still will provide relaxation and reduce stress.
A report by Deloitte predicts the legalization of the drug will bring more risk averse consumers into the market who are older and are not likely to consume the drug as regularly as those already using the drug for recreation. The report says: “Today’s consumer is what we describe as a risk taker. They’re young, typically with a high school or college education. In their quest to live life to the fullest, they’re more likely to put their health or safety at risk, even going so far as to skirt or break the law.”
The report describes the new recreational users as typically 35 to 54 years old and fully three quarters of them will have had some recreational marijuana but only 41 percent will have used it in the last five years. The report continues: “This consumer is more of a conservative experimenter — typically middle-aged, with a university or graduate school education. They don’t tend to put their personal interests before family needs or other responsibilities.” The report claims that almost half of those currently using pot say they would move to the legal market if there were more choices in terms of product potency.
Marijuana producers are paying attention to the new consumers
Andrew Pollock, of the Green Organic Dutchman said that many customers are requesting products with higher concentrations of CBD a non-psychotic cannabidiol, as contrasted with THC or tetrahydrocannabinol which is the main mind-altering ingredient in the marijuana plant. Pollock said that there is a trend towards CBD.
CBD and THC
CBD and THC are some of the most common compounds found in marijuana. Plants with a higher amount of CBD produce marijuana that gives relief of anxiety, pain, and inflammation while leaving one clear-headed. In contrast THC provides a high as well while relieving symptoms such as pain and nausea according to Pollock.
Pollock said: “What we’re finding is more and more consumers are just looking for something to help them relax, to take away the stress, maybe to help them sleep. What most consumers are looking for in this day and age is calm.” Pollock’s firm the Green Organic Dutchman is building 130,000 square metres of cultivation facilities in Ontario, Quebec and Jamaica.
Ali Wasuk, the store manager of a dispensary in Vancouver said that CBD products were already popular among medical clients. Especially older users who had never used recreational marijuana used the CBD products because they worried about getting high. Wasuk said those who use the CBD products mainly wanted to dabble and get their feet wet with the lower dose. He said that on the medical side of marijuana use it was generally of products with lower quantities of THC.
Lower dose products becoming common in the US
It used to be that the US marijuana market was dominated by high dosage THC pot on the black market. Pot that created a high and packed a wallop. However, things are now changing. This may be partly because there are sometimes adverse reaction to the high TCH marijuana. Maureen Dowd a New York Time columnist wrote of her experience after taking a sample of a cannabis-infused chocolate at a legal Colorado pot shop in 2014. She claims to have ened up “curled in a hallucinatory state” for eight hours in her hotel room.
The industry is now trying to urge lower-dose products be used by new users and is also emphasizing responsible consumption of products, particularly of edibles.
Tom Adams, managing director of BDS Analytics in Colorado said: “The industry has very much harped on the theme of, ‘Start low, go slow.” Adams also notes that there are also regular users in the market who want to take some edge off without getting high.
As the appended video shows, users should be aware that marijuana use and possession is still against US federal laws. Users must be careful when they enter the US or they could end up being banned from entry.
Who can buy marijuana and what will be available?
As with alcohol the minimum age for possession or purchase is set at 19. However, unlike liquor stores those under the age of 10 will not even be able to enter stores even if accompanied by an adult.
At present, only dried cannabis, seeds, and oils will be legally available as well as accessories such as rolling papers, pipes and bongs. Edibles such as pot-infused cookies or brownies will still be illegal. They are expected to be available within a year.
Cannabis concentrate and vape juice will also still be illegal. Health Canada claims that it needs more evidence of the risks involved in each.